Have come with a message to move forward:Sushma to Pakistan

Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj  attended an hour-long dinner and cultural programme in Islamabad, hosted by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz, said she wanted ties between the two countries to improve and that she would hold talks to accomplish this.

Setting the tone for their talks on Wednesday, foreign ministers of India and Pakistan on Tuesday expressed optimism and desire to improve ties which have witnessed strain in the past few months, maintaining the effort will be to carry forward the engagement.

After arriving on a two-day visit, primarily to attend a multilateral meet on Afghanistan, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said relationship between the two countries should be better and that she will hold talks with Pakistani leaders to find ways to improve bilateral ties.

“I have come with the message that ties between the two countries should be good and move forward,” said Swaraj.

Swaraj will hold talks with her Pakistani counterpart Sartaz Aziz and call on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the conference on Wednesday.

Aziz said he was expecting a “good and positive” outcome from the meeting and both sides should take forward the engagement to improve ties.

Swaraj’s visit comes after talks between the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan in Bangkok on Sunday, where they discussed terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir and a range of key bilateral issues apart from agreeing to carry forward the “constructive” engagement.

Later in the night Sushma Swaraj met her Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz during a banquet hosted by him for the heads of delegates participating in a multilateral conference on Afghanistan.

Aziz greeted Swaraj warmly and both engaged in a brief conversation. Aziz later sat next to Swaraj.

The fifth ‘Heart of Asia’ conference, an annual gathering of Asian and other countries, is aimed at enhancing cooperation for countering security threats and promoting connectivity in the region.

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